Hi all! I am hoping you can help me out. Without going into too much detail, I have been working on the same floor for 6 years now, 2+ years as an RN. Ever since nursing school, Occ Health has been my goal. I have very sensitive hands that the doc thinks will be bothered by any type of gloves (I have tried several different kinds and am currently using a sort of hypoallergenic glove, but still having problems). I had hoped to get more experience before pursuing Occ Health, but now things have changed. I have a few questions about Occ Health that I hope someone can answer.
1) How much direct pt care/contact do you have in your job?
2) How often do you have to wear gloves to do your job?
3) How can I make myself appeal to companies if I can find an opening?
4) Is it inappropriate for me to contact companies if there are no nursing openings listed? You know, just to inquire and let them know I am interested.
I have been talking to a lot of people, but not really getting any answers. I know that Occ Health is very tough to get into, but does that mean it's hopeless? I have talked to several people in Occ Health and the answer is always "if I hear of anything, I'll let you know". I don't have much hope that anything will come of that.
I know I have to do this for myself, but I don't know how. I really REALLY don't want to give up my dream of being a nurse, but if my hands get any worse, I'm not going to have a choice. I want to stay in pt care, but it's becoming harder and harder. That's why I want to get into something with less glove contact now. My routine when I get to work right now is to put on some hand sanitizer, see where it stings, and cover all those areas with tegaderm. But most days, before the shift is over, I have to put on more because I have a new cut. They are so tiny and hard to see that I don't know they are there until I get that alcohol in them, and by then it's like "well great - I wonder what I just exposed myself to." It's really getting bad, and I need help.
I know you're all going to say that you can't help me. But do I have a chance at all? Thank you so much for reading this, I would appreciate any reply at all, and please, feel free to PM me if you want to. Any advice/info/tips/criticism would be welcome!!!!!
Dec 5, '08
Just became a member and saw your questions. I have been in Occ Health now for almost a year and love every minute of it. I got very lucky and just fell into my job. As far as direct pt care, not a whole lot where I am. I do have the occasional finger cut come into my office, but most of my time is spent doing all of the work comp stuff. I manage all of the cases from start to finish. I don't think that I put on a pair of gloves more than 3 times a week here.
I am contracted through a company that works with nurses and companies specializing in Work Comp. You might want to check into something like that also. I think that a lot of companies might be going in that direction.
Good luck, hopefully you have already started a job in Occ Health
Dec 18, '08
I have been working in Occ Med for 8 years and also "fell into' this job. I work in a manufacturing faclities and I use gloves when needed. I agree that it is probably 3 times a week or less and for short periods of time. There are different tasks in occ med nursing that might require more.
I would also talk to occ med clinics -I started at this job through a occ med clinic that was assisting their customers. I then got hired by the company.
Temp agencies might also be helpful.
There are a few occ med books that will be helpful to give you some idea of the different roles.
There were other chains in this subject that talked about people getting into occ med